Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 10, 2003
Passing its global sight test leaves MERIS ready for work
The MERIS sensor on ESA's Envisat environmental satellite is ready for operational use by science and industry.

ICSU launches an agenda for action - 'Science in the Information Society'
Following a meeting of leading scientists from around the world and representatives of international organisations in March, an agenda for action - Science in the Information Society - has now been released by ICSU.

California budget battle will be a long one, says UC Riverside professor
Shaun Bowler, a UC Riverside political science professor, is predicting that California citizens are in for a very long ride before the budget is signed in Sacramento, with a divisive recall battle that will only make the road bumpier.

International study helps patients and their doctors when an unruptured brain aneurysm is discovered
An international study led by Mayo Clinic to be published in the July 12 issue of The Lancet provides new information about when unruptured brain aneurysms should and should not be treated.

Study suggests added benefits from proactive treatment of certain unruptured brain aneurysms
Data from the International Study of Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms (ISUIA), published today in The Lancet, provided substantial new evidence showing that aneurysm size, location and a previous history of a ruptured aneurysm are the best predictors of future aneurysmal ruptures.

Homeless people are more likely to die early
Homeless people staying in hostels are four times more likely to die early than people in the general population, claim researchers in this week's BMJ.

Customized approaches to food are focus of symposium
Symposium will address the current trend in developing customized nutrition recommendations and food choices for individuals.

Women need better information about breast screening
Information about breast screening must be improved if women are to fully understand both the benefits and the potential harms in order to make an informed choice, argue researchers in this week's BMJ.

UBC-led team helps to identify oldest planet in universe
An international research team co-led by Prof. Harvey Richer of the University of British Columbia today announced that it has confirmed the existence of the universe's oldest known planet.

Pharmaceutical interests versus AIDS in Africa
The appointment of Randall Tobias as the US Government's global AIDS co-ordinator is analysed in this week's editorial.

Lombardi Cancer Center receives $7 million
The Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University will establish a multi-institution Breast Cancer Center of Excellence to study the link between alcohol consumption and breast cancer.

A landmark in the understanding of thyroid disease
Authors of a research letter in this week's issue of THE LANCET report the discovery of the first human monoclonal thyroid stimulating autoantibody which could be an important step forward in understanding the underlying cause of a common thyroid disease.

Rise in needle sharing among Pakistani injection drug users
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that needle sharing among Pakistani injection drug users increases more than three-fold after the start of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan in 2001.

Virtual consultations are not cost effective
Virtual consultations between doctors and patients cost the NHS more than standard outpatient appointments, but are slightly less time consuming and cheaper for patients, conclude researchers in this week's BMJ.

Universities to share technologies to fight hunger in developing countries; improve domestic crops
A group of leading U.S. public sector agricultural research institutions has agreed to allow access to each other's current and future patented agricultural technologies and is exploring ways to ensure that new licensing agreements allow for technologies to be used to fight global hunger and to boost the domestic agricultural sector.

Key step allowing cell migration
Researchers have discovered a prime regulator of the mechanism by which human cells migrate in health and in illness, a process crucial to sustaining life.

Crabs switch skeleton types
Working with blue crabs, biologists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered what may turn out to be a previously unrecognized, fundamental and widespread support mechanism in crabs, lobsters, insects and other arthropods that periodically shed their hard external skeletons.

Dodging elephants, scorpions, mudslides...UF researcher tracks tigers
Tiger experts are hailing a new study of the tiger population in Malaysia as something of a landmark in research and conservation of the animals.

Mutant gene found to cause early ovarian failure in mice
Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital have discovered a gene mutation in mice that causes premature ovarian failure, a form of infertility affecting an estimated 250,000 women in the United States.

Awareness, technology can cut stress injuries for computer workers
Businesses and organizations spend billions of dollars a year on computer hardware and software, but allot almost nothing for techniques to avoid repetitive stress injury and other related computer disorders.

New prospects for treating muscular dystrophy: Stem cells restore muscle in MD mice
A study on mice suggests that a type of stem cells found in blood vessels may someday be able to regenerate wasting muscle in muscular dystrophy (MD) patients.

From Hopkins: Children may outgrow peanut allergies
Parents whose kids are allergic to peanuts may be relieved to know that it's possible their children could outgrow their allergy over time.

'Pointing and showing' problems for autistic children
Difficulties that children with autism have in pointing and showing objects to other people may emerge from earlier problems with simple face-to-face interaction, according to new research sponsored by the ESRC.

Science Picks--leads, feeds and story seeds (July 2003)
Looking for summer science stories? Coral to frogs to volcanoes.

New initiative helps researchers wend way through intellectual property maze
A team of 14 institutions and foundations, including Ohio State University, is beginning a new national effort to make access to developments in biotechnology easier.

Perceptions about the threat of bioterrorism could impair the nation's response
A new study from Saint Louis University's School of Public Health raises questions about the level of bioterrorism preparedness in the United States.

Radiotherapy best option after surgery for ductal carcinoma in situ
UK research published in this week's issue of THE LANCET suggests that women with a pre-invasive cancer of the breast known as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) are less likely to progress to invasive cancer if they are given radiotherapy after surgery.

Higher education or larger brain size may protect against dementia later in life, new study finds
Higher education or a larger brain may protect against dementia later in life, according to a new study from the University of South Florida and the University of Kentucky.

Playground fights 'are wired in the brain' say UCL scientists
Scientists at University College London (UCL) have discovered that when two squabbling children each claim that the other hit them harder, they may be telling the truth, as they perceive it.

Researchers identify key molecular signal in plant pollination
Despite the importance and ubiquity of seeds, researchers have discovered precious little about the processes that regulate plant fertilization, the essential first step in seed formation.

UCLA report shows disparities in children's health
A study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research found wide gaps in the health and access to care among California's children under 6 years of age.

Clinical trial of botanicals to treat menopause symptoms
The University of Illinois at Chicago is launching a study to test whether two herbal products -- black cohosh and red clover -- are effective in relieving symptoms of menopause.

Premier international meeting drives cancer research
Scientists from around the world are assembling for the 94th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), the premier multidisciplinary event in cancer research.

Delayed nausea common for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy
Many more cancer patients who receive chemotherapy report a serious problem with nausea a day or two later than on the day of their treatment.

Are smoke free hospitals unethical?
A recent editorial attacked a decision by the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast to build seven smoking rooms for patients and staff.

First West Coast baby born using frozen egg technique
University Fertility Consultants at the Oregon Health & Science University have successfully frozen human eggs that have resulted in the birth of a baby boy.

Columbia researchers divide world according to evolutionary genetics
Researchers from the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation at Columbia University are making fine geographic distinctions within biological hotspots by examining how evolutionary relationships within distantly-related organisms are distributed throughout a shared habitat.

A global strategy for reducing catastrophic health-care payments
Public-health experts highlight in this week's issue of The Lancet how the reduction of out-of-pocket health expenditure to below 15% of the total cost of health services could substantially increase access to health-care systems across different parts of the world.

Summary of AACR press releases distributed following cancellation of annual meeting in Toronto
Researchers identify new gene associated with breast cancer. Other studies conclude that over-the-counter pain relievers are effective in protecting against breast cancer, low-Dose tamoxifen may be effective in treating breast cancer and that a novel COX-2 combination treatment may reduce colon cancer risk.

Ancestry mix may be one key to obesity
Estimating proportions of ancestry may provide clues to genetic influences on obesity, osteoporosis and metabolism, and help public health professionals better educate populations, according to an international team of researchers.
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